April 11, 2008
Low copy number DNA vindicated?
In January, we noted the unusual opinion of the trial court in the Omagh bombing case. Now, a second review of the Forensic Science Service's procedure for amplifying small quantities of DNA has appeared. According to an article in today's Guardian, a report undertaken for the Crown Prosecution Services concludes that "[t]iny samples of DNA evidence are safe to use in criminal prosecutions." However, the report also contains "21 recommendations to standardise procedures, including ensuring that police evidence-gathering kits are "DNA-clean", to avoid contamination with someone else's genetic profile, a national agreement on how to interpret the results from low-template DNA, and clear guidance on how courts should interpret the evidence."